Hillary Clinton picked up a major endorsement on Sunday, just days before she officially becomes the Democratic Party's nominee for President at the party's quadrennial convention in Philadelphia.
The endorsement came from former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who once considered his own third-party bid against her, but opted against it, earlier this year.
It was first reported by The New York Times, which wrote:
The news is an unexpected move from Mr. Bloomberg, who has not been a member of the Democratic Party since 2000; was elected the mayor of New York City as a Republican; and later became an independent.
But it reflects Mr. Bloomberg’s increasing dismay about the rise of Donald J. Trump and a determination to see that the Republican nominee is defeated.
The paper also noted that Bloomberg will be among those speaking on Clinton's behalf during a primetime address in Philadelphia on Wednesday; it will be his first time addressing a political convention in a partisan capacity.
Howard Wolfson, a senior advisor to the former mayor, told the Times that:
"Mr. Bloomberg will vouch for Mrs. Clinton 'from the perspective of a business leader and an independent'.
As the nation’s leading independent and a pragmatic business leader, Mike has supported candidates from both sides of the aisle. This week in Philadelphia he will make a strong case that the clear choice in this election is Hillary Clinton.”
Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri added:
"[Bloomberg will bring] a unique and important voice that lays out the choice in this election.”
The former mayor reportedly decided to endorse Clinton over concerns about GOP nominee Donald Trump's positions on immigration and the economy.
In his March op-ed announcing that he would not launch a third-party bid, Bloomberg strongly attributed the decision to his worry that running would make it easier for Trump to become president:
Specifically criticizing the GOP nominee's proposed Muslim ban and plans for illegal immigration, Bloomberg wrote, at the time:
“These moves would divide us at home and compromise our moral leadership around the world.
The end result would be to embolden our enemies, threaten the security of our allies, and put our own men and women in uniform at greater risk.”
He later made headlines by calling both Trump and former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders “demagogues” during a commencement speech at the University of Michigan:
An independent who served his first two terms as mayor as a Republican, Bloomberg is an unorthodox choice to address the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday.
While he has become one of the most vocal proponents for gun control (and soda bans) in recent years, the longtime businessman is also a fiscal hawk known for his strong support of Israel and intolerance of liberal bias on college campuses.
Bloomberg also endorsed President Obama's re-election bid in 2012.